Gladys Porter Zoo preparing for arrival of 'escape artist' bear

By: Christian von Preysing

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 A famed escape artist is set to arrive at Gladys Porter Zoo in mid-April.

Ben, the Andean bear with a history of escapes in his previous home in St. Louis, will now be part of the Brownsville zoo.

“Since he's coming down, and we know Ben's an escape artist, we've done a little bit of modification,” GPZ Mammal Curator Walter Dupree said.

Back in his home zoo in St. Louis, Ben got out twice through the corner of a mesh awning.

In his new exhibit, Ben will have to figure out a way to climb his way out. It’s designed to look like the face of a cliff, making it difficult to climb upwards.

A moat also hinders Ben’s possible escape.

The zoo also added a hot wire, similar to an electric fence, at the top of the enclosure, to remind Ben to stay inside. 

“That was the one precaution we did take, just in case,” Dupree said. “He can't really touch it unless he's trying to get out."

Watch the video above for the full story. 


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